The Best Banana Bread You’ll Ever Eat

This recipe is my favourite for Banana Bread.  I usually make a couple of loaves at a time and they never last long.  It is so incredibly moist and delicious.

I take any bananas that are starting to get too ripe and throw them in the freezer for Banana Bread.  If you take them out ahead of time, you can just cut the end off and squeeze out the banana like a sausage out of its casing.  The riper the bananas, the sweeter, more moist bread you will have.

Ingredients:

2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 ripe bananas

1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Brown sugar – for topping.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease loaf pan.  In a large bowl, combine the first three ingredients.  No need to sift.  In a smaller bowl, combine bananas, Miracle Whip and granulated sugar.  Mix well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to them.  Mix until incorporated, but don’t overdo it.  It’s okay if there are a few spots of flour that hasn’t been mixed in yet.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle brown sugar on the top to cover.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.  The top will be lightly browned and a skewer should come out clean.

Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan.  Allow to cool slightly and remove from pan.  Will keep well wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container.

Enjoy, it’s a good one.

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Tea Loaf

I adore this recipe.  I believe it’s called Tea Loaf because of the tea in the recipe, but it is also wonderful to enjoy with a cup of tea.  I often like to have a loaf of some kind handy for breakfast, lunches, or a snack at any time.  This one is definitely one of my favourites.  I got the recipe from Anna Olsen, on Food Network Canada.  She has amazing desserts and all kinds of recipes.  This does not disappoint.  It’s a great choice for anyone with allergies to eggs, as there are none in this loaf.   It’s incredibly moist and delicious served alone or with a spread.

Ingredients:

2 cups + 2 tbsp hot brewed earl grey tea

1 cup rasins

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup butter

6 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour 2 cups hot Earl Grey tea over raisins and set aside to soak.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.  Cut in butter until blended thoroughly.  Add tea with raisins and stir till smooth.  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from loaf pan.  Stir together remaining tea with icing sugar and brush over loaf.

This loaf will keep for probably up to a week if kept wrapped tightly or in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Chicken Stove Top Bake

Here are my supper plans for tonight.  This basic recipe came from the Kraft Canada website.  This is literally from start to oven in 10 minutes and then you can play with your kids (or throw in a load of laundry, clean the bathroom, make lunches, read your book) while it bakes. It’s a great mid-week meal.

Ingredients:

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in cubes

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

2-3 cups frozen vegetables – your choice – I like peas and corn – thawed.

1 cup grated cheddar or marble cheese

1 pkg chicken flavoured Stove Top stuffing mix – can use low sodium if preferred.

1 cup hot tap water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl, combine Stove Top mix and water and stir to combine.  Set aside.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, combine chicken, soup, sour cream, veggies and cheese.  Mix until well combined and smooth out so ingredients are level in baking dish.  Sprinkle moistened stuffing mix evenly over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly. If the veggies are frozen, sometimes I like to bake without the topping for about 20 minutes or so, then add the topping so that it doesn’t get too crispy.

You can eat this on it’s own, sometimes I’ll make mashed potatoes to go with it to make it stretch a bit, or else a nice loaf of crusty bread goes great as a side.

There is another variation of this recipe that uses shredded cooked chicken and a mixture of 1 cup biscuit mix and 1/2 cup sour cream with a bit of milk mixed together and dolloped on the top instead of the stuffing mix.  This only requires about 20 minutes in the oven and it’s incredibly good as well.

Enjoy!

Hot Artichoke Dip

I’m going to play poker with the girls tonight, and this is what I plan to take with me for everyone to munch on.  There are variations of this dip all over the place in different cookbooks, websites, etc.  One of them is kraftcanada.com – a go to place for me when looking for a recipe.

Ingredients:

2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped.

2 cups salad dressing (like Miracle Whip)

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese.

1 tbsp minced garlic or sprinkle some garlic powder.

Sliced green onions (optional)

1 bag pitas – not the pocket kind

vegetable oil

seasoning salt

Directions:

Combine all but the last three ingredients in an oven safe dish.  Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  You can put it under the broiler for a few minutes if you like the top browned.

Serve with pita chips, method below:

Cut pitas into triangle wedges, about 8 per round.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.  Toss to coat.  Bake on cookie sheet, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn.  You just want them lightly browned.  Turn once during baking.  You want them to retain some of their chewiness.

You can make this dip ahead of time and bake off at the last minute.  You can also do whatever variations you would like.  Some drained frozen spinach would be a nice addition, or some finely diced red peppers, or oil packed sundried tomatoes.  Jazz it up to suit your tastes.  If you’re in a pinch you can also just serve with store-bought tortilla chips.  The big restaurant style so you can get lots of dip on your chip!

Enjoy!

Chicken Georgia

This is my plan for dinner tonight.  This dish was inspired from watching the amazing Paula Deen one afternoon and seeing her make it.  My husband looked at me and said – “Oh my, that looks good!”  I realized I had everything I needed in the house to make it so I did.  I’ve tweaked it here and there to suit our tastes, and it’s become a family favourite.  As usual – the measurements are eyeballed.

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Butter and olive or vegetable oil – she used straight butter, I use a bit of both.

One onion – diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 lb. white button mushrooms – sliced

your favourite BBQ sauce – for brushing – my own tweak

4-6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled – also my own tweak, but come on…it’s bacon!

shredded mozzarella cheese – well…lots.

Directions:

Heat butter and oil in large skillet that has a cover.  Add onions and cook slightly.  Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until onions and mushrooms are tender.  Cover if necessary.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Put them in the pan with the mushrooms and the onions, making sure that the chicken is fully in contact with the pan.  Cook covered for until chicken is cooked a little more than halfway through, probably 6-8 minutes.  Brush exposed side with BBQ sauce and flip the breasts.  Brush the other side with more sauce, and sprinkle each breast with some of the crumbled bacon.  Cover everything with mozzarella cheese.  As much or as little as you like.  Cover and allow chicken to finish cooking and cheese to melt, probably another 6 minutes or so, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.

Serve with whatever side you enjoy – mashed potatoes, fries, rice – have all been tried and enjoyed by us.  Baked potato would probably be good too.  It’s quite rich, so it’s great with just a side salad as well.

Enjoy!  This is a good one! 🙂

Jacked up KD

This is what I plan on having for supper tonight.  You’ll notice the measurement for the curry is kind of screwy, mostly because this is just a thought up recipe and I just eyeball everything.

Ingredients:

1 pkg. lean ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 lb. white button mushrooms, sliced

1-1 1/2 tsp. sweet curry

1 pkg. macaroni & cheese (Kraft Dinner for me!) – prepared as per package instructions.

Directions:

Brown ground beef in skillet.  Add onions and mushrooms.  Add curry (to be honest, I just keep shaking until it looks good to me – this should be done based on your taste in curry). Cook until onions and mushrooms are tender.

Add prepared macaroni and cheese.  Mix until well combined.

That’s it – you’re done.  It’s actually quite good – we put a dousing of ketchup on ours too.

You could change this up in a hundred different ways, adding different vegetables, probably ground chicken would be good too.  Instead of the curry, you could add taco seasoning and serve with tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.  Hey!  That sounds pretty good – might be an option for later in the week!

Enjoy!

Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

This recipe can be found on the Food Network website and is from the talented Giada De Laurentiis.  I have made this many times and it is a hit every time I do it.  I have never been disappointed by any of Giada’s recipes, but this is my favourite.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

5 tbsp butter, divided

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced.

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 cup dry Marsala wine

1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone cheese

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus whole sprigs, for garnish.

12 oz dried fettuccine

Directions:

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool slightly.

While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 12 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the mascarpone and mustard.  Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3 inch thick slices.  Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet.  Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Drain.  Toss the fettuccine with 3 tablespoons of butter and season, to taste with salt and pepper.  Swirl the fettuccine onto serving plates.  Spoon the chicken mixture over top.  Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve.  For family style, I like to put fettuccine into a large pasta serving dish and pour entire chicken mixture over top, allowing guests to serve themselves.

This dish…is delish!  Enjoy!